A cheerful, smiling blond woman named Dee walked out of coffeeshop Nogal Wiedes in Amsterdam Centrum having purchased a gram of hash just before the government's new emergency measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic took effect. The policy was introduced at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, and included a mandate that all restaurants, bars, cafes, fitness centers, saunas, sex clubs, and coffeeshops close from 6 p.m. on Sunday through April 6.
Around 220 thousand Netherlands residents used cannabis on a daily or nearly daily basis in 2018, compared to 140 thousand the year before. The use of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine in the Netherlands is well above the European average. But the number of drug-related deaths decreased in 2018 compared to the year before, according to the National Drug Monitor 2019 by the Trimbos Institute.
The Spanish police arrested an alleged Dutch criminal organization for drug trafficking in Alicante. Four Dutch men between the ages of 44 and 56 were arrested for possessing more than 100 kilograms of cannabis, 550 cannabis plants, a firearm and large sums of money, RTL Nieuws reports based on reports in Spanish media.
Schools in Arnhem sounded the alarm about an increasing number of school children smoking cannabis during school time. "In some classes, 50 to 60 percent of the students [smoke joints]", Eelco van der Kruk of the Thomas Kempis College in Arnhem said to the city council this week, speaking on behalf of multiple schools, Omroep Gelderland reports.
Former Diemen alderman Jorrit Nuijens was fined 600 euros for disrupting public order and drug possession. With that the case against him following his arrest in Amsterdam is closed. "I can focus on the future", Nuijens said in a statement.
The British police arrested 13 people on Friday in an investigation into drug trafficking from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. The British and Dutch gang suspected of being behind this operation is believed to have smuggled over 50 tons of drugs from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, AD reports.
The cannabis involved in the Netherlands' regulated cultivation experiment will be sold in "unattractive" and plain packaging. This is to make sure that people "who weren't planning" to use cannabis aren't tempted into trying it by interesting wrappers, NRC reports based on a proposal that contains the rules for the experiment.
While searching a warehouse on Piusstraat in Tilburg this week, the police found over 550 thousand euros in cash and large amounts of soft drugs. Two suspects were arrested, the police said in a statement.
The police raided a property on Piusstraat, on which two warehouses are located, on Wednesday morning. In the one warehouse, the police found nearly 30 thousand joints, 70 kilograms of cannabis, and 20 kilograms of hash. The drugs were seized and removed from the site. There was also a safe, which the police could not get open immediately.
A total of 10 municipalities will participate in the Dutch government's experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation and Tilburg, Almere and Breda are among them, NOS reports based in information from sources. The intention is for the experiment to start in 2021, according to the broadcaster. The committee that helped set up the experiment will give advice on the full list of participants on Thursday.
Legalizing the production and use of cannabis does not lead to an immediate reduction in drug crime, a delegation from the Dutch police concluded after a working visit to Canada, which legalized cannabis in October last year. One of the main reasons for this is that the price of cannabis is much lower on the black market, because criminals do not have to pay taxes, the Volkskrant reports.
A 31-year-old taxi driver from Amsterdam was sentenced to 3 years in prison, one of which conditionally suspended, for dealing in drugs and firearms on the dark web. The sentence issued by the court of Rotterdam was one year shorter than what the Public Prosecutor demanded, Het Parool reports.
The court considered it proven that the man sold at least nine firearms, hundreds of ecstasy pills, over an ounce of cannabis and nearly 20 grams of cocaine on the dark web.
One of two Dutch men arrested for dealing drugs at popular music festival Sziget in Budapest, Hungary, is 21-year-old Roelf B. - a top sprinter who formed part of the Dutch relay team in the European Championship for athletes under the age of 23, AD reports.
Two Dutch men were arrested at the Sziget festival in Hungary over the weekend on suspicion of drug dealing. Local news site 444 called the arrest the "biggest drug bust ever" at the festival.
A total of 451 bottles of narcotics, 128 grams of cannabis and a kilogram of ecstasy pills were confiscated from the 21- and 22-year-old suspects, according to NU.nl. The drugs have a street value of around 15 thousand euros. The police also found over 500 price lists on the suspects and at the festival, 444 reports.
A total of 26 municipalities signed up for the government's experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation. Utrecht is the only one of the Netherlands' four large cities that signed up.
The murder of four men in an Enschede grow shop last year was a Mexican woman's revenge for the death of her twin brother and 4-year-old daughter, crime reporter Hendrik Jan Korterink said based on information on a USB stick he received from a Russian man and telephone conversations with one of the suspects. The woman's brother and daughter were chopped into pieces and dumped into the Twente canal with over 100 kilograms of heroin and 100 kilograms of cocaine, according to the information, AD reports.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 6.5 years in prison against three men suspected of large-scale drug trafficking through the Hansa Market on the dark web in court on Monday. A female suspect is facing 2 years in prison, eight months of which conditionally suspended.
The municipality of The Hague will likely not participate in the government's regulated cannabis cultivation experiment. In a letter to the city council, Mayor Pauline Krikke wrote that the conditions of the experiment are unworkable - specifically the condition that all coffeeshops in participating municipalities have to participate in the experiment, NOS reports.
Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society around 200 million euros per year, through stolen electricity and missed taxes, according to the sector organization for gas and electricity network operators Netbeheer Nederland, NU.nl reports.
More investigators and customs officers are needed to combat drug crime in the port of Rotterdam, according to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. The Rotterdam mayor calls on the government to structurally tackle undermining crime, NOS reports.
The Public Prosecutor suspects that 22-year-od Mehmet A. from Tiel, a police officer in training in Amsterdam, was deliberately stationed with the police to pass on information to the underworld, the Prosecutor said in the trial against the man on Tuesday. A. is suspected of selling confidential police information to criminals. The Prosecutor demanded 45 months in prison and a ban on performing a public function for 8 years against the man, AT5 reports.
A 20-year-old man from Groningen was arrested during a routine traffic check on the A28 near Zwolle after the police found 67 kilograms of cannabis and 69 packets of hashish in the trunk of his car. According to the police, the drugs have a street value of over 500 thousand euros.
The Public Prosecutor must immediately drop a criminal case against two police officers suspected of involvement in large-scale cannabis production and trade in Almelo, the court in Almelo ruled on Tuesday. Like the two cops' lawyers, the court found that there is no evidence or any reason to prosecute the two officers, NU.nl reports.
Paul van N. from Hengelo was sentenced to 80 hours of community service on Friday for illegal cannabis cultivation. A cannabis plantation with 450 cuttings was found in his home after his daughter spoke about her daddy's "green plants in the attic" at after-school care, AD reports.
"My dad has green plants in the attic", the girl said with what can only be described as childhood innocence at a Kids Villa group in Hengelo.
The police arrested 12 people in the Netherlands for involvement in the production and export of drugs to Scandinavia. A 13th suspect was arrested in Peer, Belgium. The suspects are 12 men and a woman between the ages of 32 and 16 years. They were arrested on Monday, but the police only announced the arrests on Thursday.
The police searched buildings in Utrecht, Vleuten, Woerden, Maarssen, Houten, Almere, Waardenburg, Lopikerkapel and Aalsmeer.